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Graf Von Faber-Castell Violet Blue - The Color Of Hydrangeas



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I adore Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue ink. When I was looking into getting a bottle, I could not get an accurate impression of the color from on-line photographs. The ink looked different everywhere. One review said it was vibrant. None of that was really accurate when I finally did get my bottle and started writing with it.

 

Violet Blue is a powdery, muted color-shifting ink, translucent and highly shading. It can go from almost pink-lavender to deeper lavender-purple, and even bits of blue. I would say even though it is a blue-lavender, it also has a warmth to it where the sophisticated muted pink element comes through. I've had a Sailor Kobe #57 Hime Ajisai (Hydrangea) and while also beautiful, the Kobe ink is different: more fluorescent fibrancy, more saturation. I prefer this GvFC.

 

When drawing with the ink and using a water brush, the pink is water resistant, and the light blue-lavender lifts off.

 

This ink reminded me strongly of Hydrangeas--the more lavender-pink ones. As it happens, there are lots of hydrangeas in full bloom in my area now, and as I was walking home today I decided to pluck a few flowers and do a photo shoot. The lavender hydrangea flowers are exactly the color of this ink. The pink hydrangea flowers match the water resistant component of this ink very well too.

 

Without further ado, here are some photographs for hydrangea lovers:

 

(Tomoe River 52g in a Hobonichi Cousin planner)

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Fabriano Bioprima paper:

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While not as strong of a match, Graf von Faber-Castell is also strongly reminescent of Blue hydrangea flowers in its color range: powdery light blue that shades toward lavender. I also immediately though of blue hydrangeas when I started writing with Gulf Blue.

 

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Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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I had a sample of this a number of years ago and liked the powdery lavender-blue color but found the ink to be very dry and lacking in lubrication. In what range of pens did you try it, and did it provide a relatively smooth writing experience?

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Nope, it is indeed very dry as are most of my GvFC inks. I have 10 GvFC ink colors and almost all are a varying degree of low lubrication, some extremely low, so smoother nibs do better with these inks. Some colors are a bit more lubricated, like Hazelnut Brown.

 

The dry (low lubricant and surfactant) level + low saturation does mean greater control over shading and line width, so I adapt to it by matching pens. It was tough to use with that particular italic nib in the pictures, as it was a modified 14K Sailor Music nib that had some feedback to begin with and was ground to formal italic. So extra wide tipping base combined with more angular cut of the italic nib do result in a dry and periodically scratchy writing experience. The same nib is currently much happier with highly lubricating Sailor Jentle Blue Black. But the stock Extra Fine Sailor Pro Gear Slim writes really well with GvFC Violet Blue--you can see that pen used in the second and fourth photographs. Pale line but not scratchy. I have some smooth stubs that don't care whether an ink is dry or not, and my Parker 51s don't either. What I like about GvFC inks is that they flush pretty easily and lower saturation, so I wouldn't hesitate to use them in vintage pens with ebonite feeds for higher flow.

Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Thanks for putting both inks side by side. Both look like hydrangeas. My wife loves these flowers and we have many of them in the garden. I keep noting that there are different sorts of hydrangeas, and also that they vary in color from year to year. All the more reason to get both inks. (What I like most about these GvFC inks is their bottles.)

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Intensity, thank you for your helpful reply.

 

How interesting that the extra-fine Sailor nib is less susceptible to the dryness of Violet Blue than the music nib.

 

And you make such a good point about use in Parker 51s. All my vintage Parkers are wet enough to tolerate dry inks, but often I am reluctant to put a challenging ink in a vintage pen. I agree with you that a GvFC ink is likely to be safe. I don't worry about Rohrer & Klingner inks in my vintage pens for similar reasons.

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